My Rating: 5 Stars
“It wasn’t easy to start talking about a secret that had been kept for eighteen years.”
Secret Sisters has all of the elements of an excellent romantic suspense. First of all, it has the perfect setting. Though it begins in the desert of the southwest, much of the story takes place on a dreary island in the Pacific northwest. A spooky, nearly abandoned hotel is haunted by secret ghosts of the past (not literally) that just won’t stay secret. A harrowing night eighteen years earlier is just one part of a huge web lies, deceit, murder, and mystery that has brought the entire cast of characters back to the island.
I loved the pace of the story and the manner in which clues were revealed. There was always enough information to form my own theories, but never enough that the mysteries were too easy to solve. This made the story completely addictive and nearly impossible to put down. There were several instances where I felt I might have things figured out, but there was always a twist waiting to turn things upside down. Not only do we get to unravel the dangerous murder mysteries, but our characters had their own secret pasts, and we are slowly fed bits of information until a clear picture is formed.
The characters are all strong, but I particularly enjoyed the female leads, Madeline and Daphne. They are both strong characters, successful in their own right, and strong in the face of danger; they never felt like damsels in distress having to be rescued by the big, tough men. They still have relatable vulnerability, but it never translates as weakness. In addition to the main characters, an entire cast of secondary characters really adds depth to the story.
I appreciated that the plot was slightly heavy on the mystery and suspense side, but a little lighter on the romance. There was just enough romance and chemistry and even a few breathtaking romantic moments, but the focus was more on the exciting story. Frankly, I was relieved that this truly engaging and fast-paced mystery/suspense didn’t get bogged down by unnecessary relationship drama. Our main couple, Jack and Madeline, are both blunt, efficient people, and it wouldn’t have felt genuine if they spent to much time being indecisive and overly emotional. They didn’t need that. Their romance was subtle, simple, and to the point, making it all the more powerful.
With it’s cleverly constructed mysteries, excellently written characters, perfectly ominous setting, and just the right amount of romance, Secret Sisters is and addictive and exciting read.
” ‘It’s all right,’ she said. ‘I won’t shatter.’
‘I know that. You’re strong.’ Her wrapped one big hand around the back of her head and drew her mouth down to his. ‘But I sure as hell will fracture into a million little pieces if I screw this up.’ “
*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
About Secret Sisters
Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.
Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.
They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….